| Article published Saturday, September 27, 2003 Davis-Besse test due to end Monday night
OAK HARBOR, Ohio - Davis-Besseís weeklong
pressure test - pivotal to restart efforts - was interrupted for
several hours starting on Thursday night so FirstEnergy Corp. could
address a mechanical problem.
But the utility said it
expected to have the nuclear plantís temperature and pressure back
to optimum test levels yesterday, pushing the test completion back
by no more than a day.
The test now is expected to be
finished Monday night, instead of tomorrow. Some preliminary results
likely will be released at the end of next week, Richard Wilkins, a
FirstEnergy spokesman, said.
The test is considered a dress
rehearsal for restart. Officials are trying to see if the reactorís
bottom leaks and how the plant is performing after 19 months. It has
been idle since Feb. 16, 2002, because of numerous equipment and
One of the plantís two auxiliary
feed-water pump trains was declared inoperable shortly after 11 p.m.
Wednesday, because its timing was off. After initial efforts to fix
it failed, FirstEnergy interrupted the test at 8 p.m. Thursday by
lowering the plantís pressure and temperature.
with the feed-water pump train was believed to have been fixed at
about 4 a.m. yesterday, allowing the company to start bringing the
plantís temperature and pressure back to optimum test levels, Mr.
During the test the plant is in a nonnuclear
mode, at 523 degrees and 2,155 pounds per square inch of pressure.
The plant operates in excess of 600 degrees and at 2,200 psi when
the reactor is engaged.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
wants seven days of test data for review. FirstEnergy encountered
several delays in starting the test because of various mechanical
and performance issues. It got the plant up to its test level at 6
p.m. Sunday, nine days later than planned.